Mining a common food compound, Epicatechin, for a new Alzheimer’s disease treatment

Status / Stage
9 February 2019 -
7 January 2022
Duration (calculated)
02 years 10 months
Alzheimer's Society
Funding Amount
Funder/Grant study page
Alzheimer's Society
Contracted Centre
University of Bath
Contracted Centre Webpage
Principal Investigator
Dr Robert Williams
PI Contact
WHO Catergories
Models of Disease
Understanding Underlying Disease
Disease Type
Alzheimer's Disease (AD)

CPEC Review Info
Reference ID42
ResearcherReside Team


Status / StageCompleted
Start Date20190209
End Date20220107
Duration (calculated) 02 years 10 months
Funder/Grant study pageAlzheimer's Society
Contracted CentreUniversity of Bath
Contracted Centre Webpage
Funding Amount£188,279.91


Epicatechin is a naturally occurring compound called a flavonol. It is found in many common plant foods such as fruit, nuts and seeds, chocolate and drinks such as tea and coffee. Studies in mice have shown this compound might slow down the formation of toxic clumps of the proteins – amyloid and tau – in Alzheimer’s disease.
The challenge for the researchers is that, when Epicatechin is digested, it is broken down by the body into over 20 by-products. This project hopes to find out which of these various by-products could slow down the build-up of these toxic proteins. This research could begin to provide the data needed to support a trial in humans looking at the most effective Epicatechin by-products.

There would be many advantages in working with an easily available plant based supplement that could be taken to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and not just treat the symptoms. The most effective compounds could go on to be tested as both a risk reducing dietary supplement and a new medicine for dementia.


The researchers will use biochemical and molecular approaches that they have developed over the last five years to test all of the by-products of Epicatechin compounds in parallel. Using cells taken from a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease they will look at the effect of each of the by-products on the formation of clumps of amyloid and tau.